JEFFERSON CITY, TN – Carson-Newman’s Scott Williams scored a team-high 22 points as the Eagles defeated North Greenville University 74-66 on Thursday night in Holt Field House.
The Carson Newman’s bench outscored
Crusader junior PJ Schumacher led all scorers with 26 points and set the North Greenville single-game record with eight three-pointers made.
Carson-Newman took an early 5-0 lead in the 90 seconds of the game as Clay Scott made two free-throws and Williams knocked down the first of his four first-half three-pointers. North Greenville cut the lead to 8-7 on a Victor Duck lay-up three minutes later. The Eagles held the lead as Williams and Schumacher traded three-point baskets on the ensuing possessions.
Carson-Newman opened up the lead over the next 3:30, outscoring North Greenville 16-4 during that stretch. Three-pointers by Kente Hart, Jermaine Grimm, and
The Crusaders would not get any closer in the first half. A three-pointer by Deonta Williams pushed Carson-Newman’s lead to 38-30 with 2:15 remaining in the half. Neither team would score again before the intermission.
“I thought that offensively, we did a decent job in the first half,” said Crusader head coach Chad Lister. “Carson-Newman got a bunch of open perimeter looks, but our poor defense had something to do with that.”
North Greenville turned up its defensive intensity to start the second half, forcing the Eagles in to three turnovers in their first three possessions and outscoring Carson-Newman 7-1 in the first 3:20 of the half. Nipper scored all seven points during the run, converting a lay-up, a baseline jump shot, and his first career three-pointer.
Back-to-back baskets from Tipton pushed the lead back to six, 43-37, before a three-pointer from Duck and a lay-up from Burgess trimmed the lead back to one. Carson-Newman then responded with a 7-0 run over the next 1:30, increasing its lead to 53-45.
A Schumacher three-pointer and a Burgess lay-up made it a one-possession game with 11:20 remaining. With the score 53-50, North Greenville missed three-pointers on three consecutive possessions while getting stops on the defensive end.
“It felt like we were stuck on 50 points for a long time,” added Lister. “We did a better job defensively. We forced some turnovers and some bad shots, but we just could not hit the shot that would tie the game, despite having two or three looks at it.”
Carson-Newman ended a five minute scoring drought with a dunk by Milo Johnson, to give the Eagles a 55-50 lead. The teams traded baskets before a lay-up by Nipper cut the Eagle lead to 59-57.
Over the next three minutes, Carson-Newman outscored North Greenville 8-1 to take a 67-58 lead and put the game out of reach with 3:38 to go. The Crusaders would cut the lead to six on Schumacher’s seventh and eighth three-pointers of the night, but would not get any closer.
Scott Williams’ team-high 22 points included 17 in the first half.
North Greenville was paced by Schumacher’s game-high 26, including an 8-16 effort from three-point range. Nipper added 12 points, nine rebounds, and a career-high six assists for the Crusaders. Duck rounded out the double-figure scorers with 12.
North Greenville falls to 1-6 on the season with the loss. Carson-Newman improves to 4-4. North Greenville is back in action on Saturday as they travel to Gaffney, South Carolina to take on Limestone. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30.